“How Nigeria can Enhance trade Relations with EU’ – Ecowas Delegate

Trade relations between the European Union (EU) and Nigeria can be enhanced if Nigeria becomes a signatory to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the Trade Counsellor of the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Massimo De Luca, has said.

The local Guardian newspaper Monday quoted the EU trade chief as saying other ECOWAS members will also benefit from an increased trade relations if they become signatories to EPA.

PANA repprts that the EPA being negotiated between ECOWAS and the EU is aimed at transforming the relationship between the regional bloc and the EU from one of dependency to one of mutual trade partners in the long run.

Speaking ahead of the 2013 EU-Business Forum, coming up this weekend in Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos , De Luca explained that of the 40-billion-Euro trade transactions recorded with Nigeria in 2012, 28 billion Euros are from export from the country, while the remaining 12 billion Euros account for the imports from the EU.

He said though the protectionist stance of the Nigerian government, through the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), was commendable, the country needed to examine areas where consensus could be reached to aid trade relations between the country and the EU.

De Luca said though EU member nations were looking at how to support Nigerian government’s initiatives on agriculture, standards of products as well as ways of doing business in the country should be addressed.

Meanwhile, Andre Ronne, the delegate of the German Delegation of Industry and Commerce in Nigeria and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian-German Business Association, has explained that the purpose of the EU-Business Forum is to examine areas where business relationships could be deepened between Nigeria and EU countries.

“The platform is to create a brand of Europe’s economic strength in Nigeria. It is a window of opportunity for European companies to have an access point into Nigeria and also serve as an exchange for business and culture. Despite the general economic upheavals of the last few years, the EU remains the biggest trade and investment partner for Nigeria,’ Ronne said.

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